True Stories: Ménage à Nicolas

"After a few drinks, I noticed that Nicolas's hand was resting on my leg…"

by Marguerite Kennedy

Shortly after moving to New York from Paris, I landed my first "real" job, working in a low-level capacity for a minor branch of the French government. The position didn't pay very well, but it had certain perks: a nice office, compulsory wine tastings, and — best of all — a cohort of young, single interns who were roughly my age. At an after-work happy hour my first month on the job, I started chatting with a Dijon native named "Nicolas," who had recently completed his M.B.A. in some sort of food-related marketing.

In the course of the evening, Nicolas had somehow managed to remove my underpants under the table.

After a few drinks, I noticed that Nicolas's hand was resting on my leg. This helped me to feign interest as he expounded at great (great) length on Tariffs Imposed on Refrigerated and Non-Refrigerated Milk-Based Products Exported by E.U. Nations. (Don't say I haven't suffered in order to get laid.) In the course of the evening, Nicolas had somehow managed to remove my underpants under the table — all without missing a beat in his discussion of dairy import regulations. 

At the end of the night, Nicolas whispered that he had a contraband wheel of unpasteurized camembert back at his place. He asked if I wanted to come back and, ahem, "déguster du fromage." (That's "taste some cheese.")

I burst out laughing. "That's the cheesiest line I've ever heard," I said, in English. 

He didn't understand the term. "Qu'est-ce que ce, chee-zee?" 

"Never mind." 

Running my foot up his leg, I said I would love to (making air quotes) "déguster du fromage." Again, he didn't get the joke, but I felt certain that his invitation had nothing to do with the promised wheel of illegally-imported cheese. 

Sure enough, back at his apartment, the closest thing to cheese was an unfortunate collection of Oasis CDs. This should've been a warning, but I slept with him anyway. He was one of those people who talked a lot during sex, making frequent and distracting use of the subjunctive case of various French verbs, kind of like a filthy, interactive version of some language-learning software. 

It would be an exaggeration to say that Nicolas and I ever dated per se, but over the next few months, we would occasionally go home with each other after a night at the bar. After each of our encounters, Nicolas would go off on a diatribe to clarify that we were absolutely, in no way ensemble (i.e., dating), for what he called "obvious reasons." 

"You mean, because you talk at great (great) length about dairy-related tariffs?" I started to ask, but bit my tongue. It was like being rejected for a job you never applied for in the first place. 

"Not to worry," I assured him. "I'm just using you for sex." For once, Nicolas laughed hysterically at something I'd said. Ironically, I wasn't joking.  

A few months later, yet another intern appeared on the scene. He was a tall, handsome Breton who was bald as a cue ball, and he, too, was named "Nicolas." He and I hit it off immediately. Unlike Nicolas Un, Nicolas Deux got all of my jokes, and matched them one-for-one with his own. He invited me out for a drink after work. At the end of the evening, Nicolas 2.0 asked if I wanted to come up to his apartment to "see the view." I knew that by "the view" he meant "...of his penis," but as it happened, I did want to see it.

At this point, I should tell you that the two Nicolaseseses actually shared an apartment owned by the French government (which, incidentally, did have a lovely view). The next morning, I woke up early and tiptoed out of New & Improved Nicolas' room, hoping to avoid crossing paths with Original Recipe Nicolas.

It was barely 7 a.m., but Nicolas Un was already sitting at the table, sipping coffee and reading the morning paper, wearing an expression stolen from Glenn Close in the third act of Fatal Attraction

Commentarium (23 Comments)

Apr 18 12 - 3:38am
MDF

You had me at 'Zah' description,

"He was one of those people who talked a lot during sex, making frequent and distracting use of the subjunctive case of various French verbs, kind of like a filthy, interactive version of some language-learning software."

In high school, my girlfriend, a very enthusiastic studier of french, --did the exact same thing.

To my sixteen year old libido, it was wonderful the first time, and then like a bad cd on repeat, it got distracting pretty fast. Mostly because I had the class with her, and ended up having to tutor her by the end of the semester to get a passing grade.

If only smutty french learned by teens would have been graded instead, She would have aced the class by the end of the first week.

www.zeroclimate.deviantart.com

Apr 18 12 - 8:12pm
RN

I used to have serious envy of a grad student friend of mine who had had a Czech boyfriend in the Czech Republic who used to talk dirty to her in Czech when they had sex. I was married to a dour and unilingual Scots-German Canadian from Manitoba who apparently was bound by a vow of silence when he took his pants off.

Apr 19 12 - 6:44am
Young

^ LoL

Apr 18 12 - 11:03am
BerlinExPat

You write with so much charm! This piece made my day.

Apr 18 12 - 12:01pm
KE

Loved this.

Apr 19 12 - 5:13pm
MG

So did I. Wonderful story.

Apr 18 12 - 1:40pm
kas

That was hilarious! I loved it.

Apr 18 12 - 1:54pm
nope

Really funny stuff. It's also a testament to your writing that never once was I confused about which Nicolas we were talking about.

Apr 19 12 - 10:53pm
Hank

So much love for this.

Apr 18 12 - 5:06pm
Dewey

This was way better than the last couple of True Stories on Nerve

Apr 18 12 - 7:50pm
JCB

Great story! Just wanted to agree that everyone that it was higher quality than the previous True Stories.

Apr 18 12 - 10:29pm
srb

lovely, just lovely.

Apr 19 12 - 12:22am
Lava

I want "I Did It For Science" back. This was great, but c'mon: Science.

I'll even write it. And I'll use better grammar than this.

Apr 19 12 - 9:15am
gft

+1

Apr 19 12 - 10:52am
kg

please.

Apr 19 12 - 10:14pm
IDIFS

Agree about I Did It For Science, but not as an instead, as an "in addition to." And I don't know what's wrong with the grammar in this, I thought it was great. I spewed diet coke through my nose while reading it.

Apr 19 12 - 9:19am
toutjour

This pure word porn. Like.

Apr 19 12 - 7:53pm
Ahem

Fantastique quoi!!!'

Apr 20 12 - 12:50am
Yeah

I love the funny sex stories. More, please!

Apr 20 12 - 6:44am
yup

I chuckled the whole way through.

Apr 20 12 - 12:11pm
Mr. X

Loved this. Funny, perceptive, and it's made me realize I need to work some more dairy into my pickup lines.
www.thesexexperiment.com

Apr 20 12 - 11:34pm
Mr. P

Loved this! Writers voice is wonderful. Hilarious story!

Apr 22 12 - 6:41am
Ketchup lover

Reading your story........what a nice way to start the sunday......Brilliant!